I suffer from allergies, asthma, and eczema myself. Something I have dubbed the “trifecta from hell” depending on the season. I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma at age 11. It was poorly treated, and has progressed into just asthma. My allergies and eczema diagnoses didn’t come until I was an adult. I was in my 20′s when I had to deal with both of those on an official basis.
OK, so here I am, a parent that is an allergy and asthma sufferer. You’d think that when the general practitioner told me my 3 year old had asthma I’d know what to do, right? Well sort of, but not really. I know asthma is different for kids than for adults. I know he already had the allergy and eczema diagnoses. I was given scripts for a nebulizer, medications, and directions on how to use both, but only while he was sick. I was given no guidance on what to do after he was well again. Did I have to use this nebulizer 2-3 times a day EVERY day? That’s pretty time consuming to spend 40-60 minutes every day with the nebulizer. What about if he has an attack while we’re out and about away from home? What do I do then? Thankfully, I was able to get a referral to an allergist who could help us better with all these complicated questions, but only because my son ended up needing food allergy testing for a mysterious GI issue.
Having been through all that, here’s what I would suggest to parents now: when you get an asthma or allergy diagnosis, request that referral. Sure, a general practitioner could probably take care of your child’s asthma, but no matter how good a doctor they are, think of your GP as a jack of all trades, master of none. An allergist is a master of their trade, and that’s asthma and allergies. Also, get and read Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide. I cannot tell you how valuable this book was.
I learned so much great information in Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide. I honestly don’t even know where to start. Well, I guess I already did by saying that seeing a specialist is important. They will be on the up and up on all the newest and easiest to use medications, they’ll know what works best for what symptoms, etc. The allergist is a specialist in their field. Utilize them. In my opinion, a good allergist, will measure an asthma patient’s lung function at each visit and adjust medications accordingly. Your general practitioner won’t do this. They will ask you about symptoms, or about symptoms your child is having, and adjust that way. Not all symptoms are noticeable by the person.
Overall, the book, Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide takes allergies and asthma, and their treatment, and explains it all in a very easy to understand format for parents. It’s a very easy and fairly non clinical read. There are anecdotal stories to illustrate points to give readers real life examples. Honestly, as the parent of two children who have allergies and asthma I cannot say enough about this book. If you also have children with allergies and asthma, this is definitely one you need for your bookshelf. If you’d like to ask questions of the doctors who wrote the book, visit http://www.asthmaallergieschildren.com/
*I was sent a copy of Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide to read for review. All opinions and experiences are my own.